History Pages: Who Built Bombay (Mumbai)? India…

WHO BUILT BOMBAY ?
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According to ancient history, a group of 7-seven islands comprising Colaba, Mazagaon, Old Woman’s Island, Wadala, Mahim, Parel, & Matunga-Sion formed a part of the Kingdom of Ashoka the Great of Magadh, ironically in North India !

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The 7 islands of Mumbai passed through many hands – the Sultans of Gujarat, the Portuguese & the British !

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Every ruler left behind proof of residence in Mumbai !

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The Mauryans left behind the ★Kanheri-Caves (Borivali N-Park), ★Jogeshwari-Caves ★Mahakali-Caves & the caves of “Ghara-puri” island more popularly called.. Elephanta !

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The Sultans of Gujarat built the Dargahs at Mahim & Haji Ali !

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The Portuguese built the two Portuguese Churches, one at ★Prabhadevi & the other ★St. Andrews at Bandra !

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They also built Forts at Sion, Mahim, Bandra & Bassien (today’s Vasai) !

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The Portuguese named the group of 7 slands ‘Bom Baia’, Good Bay !

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The British built a city out of the group of 7 islands & called her Bombay – spoilt from the original Mumbai !

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The original settlers of the 7 islands, the Koli fishermen, worshiped Mumba Devi, her Temple still stands at Zaveri Bazar/Paydhuni.. Cotton Exchange ..near Chowpatty !

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The Kolis called the island Mumbai, ‘Mumba’-devi, Mother Goddess’ !

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In 1662, King Charles II of England married the Portuguese Princess Catherine of Braganza, & received the 7 islands of Bom Baia as part of his dowry !

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6 years later, the British Crown leased the 7 islands to the English East India Company for a sum of 10 pounds in gold per annum !

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It was under the “English East India Co” that the future megapolis began to take shape ! After the first War for Independence in 1857, Bombay once again became a colony of the British Empire !

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History has forgotten this but the first Parsi settler came to Bombay in 1640, he was Dorabji Nanabhoy Patel !

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In 1689-90, a severe “plague” प्लेग epidemic broke out in Bombay & most of the European settlers succumbed to it !

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The Siddi of Janjira Fort(MS) attacked in full force. Rustomji Dorabji Patel, a trader & the son of the city’s first Parsi settler, successfully defeated the सिद्दी Siddi (African-Nigro) with the help of, the Kolis & saved Bombay !

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Gerald Aungier, Governor of Bombay built the Bombay Castle, an area that is even today referred to as Fort !

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He also constituted the Courts of Law. He brought Gujarati traders, Parsi shipbuilders, Muslim & Hindu manufacturers from the mainland & settled them in Bombay !

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It was during a period of 4 decades that the city of Bombay took shape!

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Reclamation was done to plug the breach at Worli & Mahalakshmi, and Hornby Vellard was built in 1784 !

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The Sion Causeway, connecting Bombay to Salsette, was built in 1803 !

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Colaba Causeway, connecting Colaba island to Bombay, was built in 1838 !

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A Causeway connecting Mahim & Bandra was built in 1845 !

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Lady Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy, the wife of the First Baronet Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy donated Rs. 1,57,000 to meet construction costs of the Causeway. She donated ₹ 1,00,000 at first ! When the project costs escalated & money ran out half way through, she donated ₹ 57,000 again to ensure that the vital Causeway was completed !

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Lady Jamsetjee stipulated that no toll would ever be charged for those using the Causeway. Today Mumbaikars have to pay ₹-75 to use the Bandra-Worli Sealink, connecting almost the same two islands !

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Sir JJ Hospital was also built by Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy !

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The ship building “Wadia family of Surat” was brought to Bombay by the British. Jamshedji Wadia founded the ★Bombay Port Trust & built the ★Princess Docks in 1885 & the ★Victoria Docks & the Mereweather Dry Docks in 1891 !

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Alexandra Docks were built in 1914 !

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A Gujarati civil engineer supervised the building of the Gateway of India !

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The Tatas made Bombay their headquarters & gave it the iconic Taj Mahal Hotel & India ‘s first civilian airlines, Air India !

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The Godrejs gave India its first vegetarian soap !

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Cowasji Nanabhai Daver established Bombay ‘s first cotton mill, ‘The Bombay Spinning Mills’ in 1854 !

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By 1915, there were 83 textile mills in Bombay largely owned by Indians !

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This brought about a financial boom in Bombay ! Although the mills were owned by the Gujaratis, Kutchis, Parsis & Marwaris, the workforce was migrant Mahrashtrians from rural Maharashtra !

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Premchand Roychand, a prosperous Gujarati broker founded the Bombay Stock Exchange. Premchand Roychand donated Rs. 2,00,000 to build the Rajabai Tower in 1878 !

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Muslim, Sindhi, Kannada & Punjabi migrants have also contributed handsomely to Mumbai!

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Apart from its original inhabitants, the Kolis, everyone else in Mumbai, are immigrants!

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When the Shiv Sena came to power in 1993, & the name Bombay was replaced with Mumbai !!

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This article was written on February 7, 2010 by 🍀Tushar Gandhi🍀, Founder President of Mahatma Gandhi Foundation & a Grandson of Mahatma Gandhi🌷

@V 385 Arabian Sea
@V 386 India Gate
@V 387 Taj Hotel
@V 388 Marble Lotus & Rose Petals.
@V 389 Lotus Flower
@V 390 Painting of Sun God
@V 391 Arabian Sea

Pics: @mercurytwin 2016

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